You are here

NOTICE: Some of NCEI online systems are currently unavailable. We apologize for this inconvenience.

U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN)

Data from NOAA's premiere surface reference network. The contiguous U.S. network of 114 stations was completed in 2008. There are two USCRN stations in Hawaii and deployment of a network of 29 stations in Alaska continues. The vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the Nation changed over the past 50 years?

These stations were designed with climate science in mind. Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards and are calibrated on an annual basis. In addition to temperature and precipitation, these stations also measure solar radiation, surface skin temperature, and surface winds. They also include triplicate measurements of soil moisture and soil temperature at five depths, as well as atmospheric relative humidity for most of the 114 contiguous U.S. stations. Stations in Alaska and Hawaii provide network experience and observations in polar and tropical regions. Deployment of a complete 29-station USCRN network in Alaska began in 2009. This project is managed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and operated in partnership with NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division.

U.S. Regional Climate Reference Network (USRCRN)

The U.S. Regional Climate Reference Network (USRCRN) maintains the same level of climate science quality measurements as the national-scale U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), but its stations are spaced more closely and focus solely on temperature and precipitation. Beginning with a pilot project in the Southwest that was completed in 2011, USRCRN stations will be deployed at a 130 km spatial resolution across the United States to provide for the detection of regional climate change signals.